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Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby phlipdascrip » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:49 pm

Bill Reed wrote:Phildascrip, where you find those photos?

They're on Panoramio which is linked with google maps and earth; you can enable the option to show photos in both (see my link to google maps - http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=43.17614 ... oramio.all ). I just opened a few and clicked around in that Panoramio user's nearby images and tried to match the photos to the terrain map. You can view the pics in full size on that site too.
In a couple of years there will probably be many more useful geo-tagged photos on the web that will help with such things.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:40 pm

phlipdascrip wrote:
Bill Reed wrote:Phildascrip, where you find those photos?

They're on Panoramio which is linked with google maps and earth; you can enable the option to show photos in both (see my link to google maps - http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=43.17614 ... oramio.all ). I just opened a few and clicked around in that Panoramio user's nearby images and tried to match the photos to the terrain map. You can view the pics in full size on that site too.
In a couple of years there will probably be many more useful geo-tagged photos on the web that will help with such things.


Undoubtedly true, but I have noticed that there are lots of geo-tagged photos on Google Earth that are tagged to the wrong location, you have to bear that in mind when you try to use that info. When the input comes from anyone who wishes to contribute, you get some input from people who do not know what they are doing.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby Bill Reed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:01 pm

Had a chance to compare phlipdascrip's photo and a Topo and I believe the steep slopes of Horse Ridge that are shown in the photo are just to the east of the snowfield in question. Based on comparisons of other snowfields in the area that I have photos of and topo maps, I'm thinking the snowfield is still there and close to the same size shown on maps.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby Bill Reed » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:42 pm

And after further consideration, I must say that phlipdascrip and Brenta are exactly right. Found another photo by the same person http://www.panoramio.com/photo/18384423 that shows a little more of the ridge to the west and the snowfield looks somewhat absent. Don't know for sure what year it was taken, but it seems that climbing to the ridge-top via that route is probably out so I'll leave the ice axe behind this time.

phlidascrip - Thanks! You saved me some grief and some weight in my pack. Those google earth photos are a great resource to find pictures of seldom visited areas. Found some other great ones in there by looking at the photographers galleries.
Brenta - Thanks for your persistence and for taking the time to look into it.

Note to self: Map, GoogleEarth and photo information is dated and subject to change, particularly when it comes to snow and ice.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby mconnell » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:12 pm

sneakyracer wrote:If there is snow, you will need crampons and an ice axe at anything steeper than 20-25deg.


Knowing the angle means very little without knowing the exact conditions. On ice or very hard packed snow, a 10 degree slope is going to be really difficult without crampons. In good snow, I've climbed the Y-couloir on Pikes without crampons. It hits about 50 degrees in places. I would certainly carry them if I was headed somewhere steeper than about 25 degrees, but you won't know if you need them until you are climbing.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby phlipdascrip » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:16 pm

Glad my links helped. When were you planning on giving the climb a try? Those pictures on Panoramio seem to have been taken well into the season; if you went in (late) spring, who knows - you might get lucky enough to encounter a fully snow-covered wall in good conditions.. Overall though there seem to be more bad indicators than good ones.
Should you give it a try: Good luck, be safe, and please share the outcome!
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby Bill Reed » Sun May 01, 2011 1:30 am

Trip will take place in late summer, so not planning on the snow being there. But given the rate at which it's been accumulating lately, it might be back but I'm not planning on it. It'll just be hiking, fishing and dealing with whatever the Wind Rivers hit us with this time.
If I make it back out, I'll share the details.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby CSUMarmot » Sun May 01, 2011 3:57 am

I have had this same question frequently when I scope out routes. My experience is also limited to Andrews Glacier and 'Icefield pass glacier' most recently. Id climbed Andrews multiple times without protection, but Icefield Pass was a different story. My biggest fear is running into ice rather then the slushy snow on Andrews, and whenever I plan on traversing any kind of permanent snow I make sure there is some kind of rocky edge to the snow that would serve as a backup.
Dammit kid get off mah lawn!!!
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby Bill Reed » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:24 am

Just out of the Wind Rivers yesterday. Interesting to see that the snowfield in question is back. Image
I answered my question when I gazed upon it - It's too steep, for me at least. Also noted a possible crevasse in the lower left portion of the field.
Last edited by Bill Reed on Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby phlipdascrip » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:50 am

Wow quite a different snow situation this year! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby kylenicolls » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:07 am

You know, I know this is old, but I am surprised no one mentioned basic trig.

You have a topo so you know elevation gain, E, and distance, d. tan(β)=E/d; so...β=arctan(E/d). β is the angle n degrees. Based off google maps elevation profile, you could guess about 2000 ft distance with 1000 ft gain (not diagonal). The above says the average angle is about 26.5°. Thats steep for a average on a slope of increasing angle. You can easily take a tighter estimation toward the top. More error prone, but I'd do it for a general idea.
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Re: Need Advice - How steep is too steep?

Postby Wastral » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:12 am

I would wager a huge wad of change that the upper steepest part of that snowfield is no more than 40 degrees. Easily walkable with an ice axe in slippery conditions and easily walkable without in mushy conditions. It always looks "bad" from long distance.

Besides looked at map and it looks like a wonderful optimal glissade.

Certainly nothing you should have been afraid of or turned away from. That is no glacier either. Snow everywhere will pull away from a rock face or rocks underneath creating a moat.
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